It's surreal. My brain refuses to accept it. While I was racing around the airport unloading the extra luggage.. I dint believe it.. while I was getting through Immigration I dint believe it.
I sit in the plane, make all my last minute calls. Say bye, but don't believe it. The aircraft rises above Mumbai on time. I see the lights twinkling below.. I can spot S.V.Road, I can spot Juhu, the road leading to my place in the general direction. I see the beach, clear as a crystal from above, I see the stalls where I ate Golas with Pri and Amar. I can see the waves being pulled on to the sand, rhythmically, I cant see the the couples though. They are just specks. I enjoy the view but I cant believe it.
Abu Dhabi. People shouting for Riyadh passengers, I can see the "Princess" and " Daughters of Arabia" stories reliving itself in front of me. I go through a thorough hand bag scan. They throw small things from my bag, small things, which spell danger for them, but spell memories for me. Still don't believe it. I don't protest.
Flight to JFK, I'm sitting with the harry potter in my hands, but I am not reading it. I am sitting with an option of 256 films, 330 songs and lots of games, but I don't indulge in any of it. I don't believe it. I keep telling mum that I cant be leaving Mumbai. I don't register that I already have.
JFK. Immigration. Baggage recovery and customs. JFK to Philadelphia. Still don't believe it.
On the long drive home, I search for signs that look familiar.
I peer around..
Hey, Baskin Robbins...
I look at the clouds and they resemble the ones back home.. I look at the roads, they vaguely look like the Mumbai-Pune highway. New Jersey, India Street, Saris everywhere, Patels and dosas.. India!! Mumbai!!
No, that's lost. Quite lost.
It's scary. To realize that all this while, when I said that I want to live in a small town, it was a town like this that I envisaged. A pretty, green, quiet but friendly little town. Where people wont stare, and people wont frown. It's scary because I don't want to like this place. Its surreal.